Celebrating 10 years of the Writer in Residence program
2020 has been a momentous year for Athabasca University (AU): not only are we celebrating AU’s 50th anniversary, but we are also celebrating 10 years of the Writer in Residence program.
The Writer in Residence program invites acclaimed Canadian artists to spend 60% of their residency working on their own writing projects, and the other 40% as a resource for learners, faculty, and the university community. Authors such as Esi Edugyan, a Scotiabank Giller Prize winter in 2011 and 2018, Stephen Heighton, recipient of the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Poetry, and Katherena Vermette who was a recipient of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. These authors are just a few the wide array of Canadian voices and stories that have been brought to the AU community over the past 10 years.
“For ten years now, AU’s Writer in Residence program has been supporting emerging and established authors and bringing the AU community into conversation with them and their work,” says acting program chair and AU English prof Mark A. McCutcheon. “The program furthers AU’s mission by making literary expertise available to aspiring writers among AU students, staff, and the wider public.”
2020-2021 Writer in Residence
Our current Writer in Residence is Joshua Whitehead, who is an Oji-nêhiyaw, Two-Spirit member of Peguis First Nation. He is the author of full-metal indigiqueer (Talonbooks 2017) which was shortlisted for the inaugural Indigenous Voices Award; his debut novel Jonny Appleseed won the Lambda Literary Award for gay fiction in 2019; and his latest work has just been published by Arsenal Pulp: Love After the End is an edited anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer speculative fiction. During his writing residency, Whitehead is working on a book of creative non-fiction entitled Making Love with the Land that details mental health, queerness, and Indigeneity.
Love writing and want feeback? Email the Writer in Residence
Do you have a piece of writing that you want professional feedback on? You can submit your draft writing for our Writer in Residence to read and critique. (See the official submission guidelines on the Writer and Residence page.) This is a great opportunity to better your writing and chat with an award-winning author.